This is a photo of the tornado that hit Shawnee, OK on Sunday.
Dealing with devastating heartbreaks, heartaches....is difficult. Difficult to watch, difficult to be a part of. All of your prayers are appreciated, even coveted. We are strong, but we are wounded, we are Oklahoma.....and we will overcome.
The death count continues to swing up and down, but of the nine children who died, seven drowned. My heart cries for them, for their families.
There is devastation everywhere you look.
Standing cooking breakfast this morning, I looked out the kitchen window. It's still storming....severe T-storms......we are no longer setting on the dryline, in front of the storm, we are behind the front. The temperature has dropped, from 83, yesterday, to a chilly 54 today. Thunder shakes the house. I shutter.
It has been raining nearly non-stop for about 14 hours. And the lightning continues. I wonder if we will be able to do chores ~ animals still have to eat, there's milking to do, eggs to care for......is the garden flooded? I bite my tongue.
These are such trivial matters compared to those who have lost so much.....
some having lost everything.
I friend's daughter (who is the mother of three) asked the question, "to all those that believe God has a plan.....how was THIS part of it????? So upset. Holding my angels closely tonight, and every night because life is short."
She is right, life is short - it's fragile. Often we take it for granted. But in the end, it comes from God.
I don't know the why of all of this, anymore than Job understood the devastation that came upon him and his family.
But God knows.
It isn't my job to question. It is my job to listen....to care....to show compassion.....to love.
Why do we build libraries and new football fields, yet forget to build shelters to protect our most precious possessions, our children? Is is because we think we are bigger than the storms, that they won't come? Is another state championship, worth more than one child?
Of course not.
We made the cover of TIME.....
One family farm experienced the loss of seventy-five horses and many of those that survived were splattered with blood.....but, at least nine children died, people are still missing. Homes are gone....so much emptiness...
"My Grace IS sufficient".
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2Co 12:9
We see the hand of God reaching out to those who are hurting.
Within a few short hours of the tornado, one television station reported cars lined up for miles, with people bringing donations of food, clothing, money.....in cash alone, $35,000 had been donated by neighbors and friends of those who were hurting. At eleven that night, the station asked people to wait until morning before bringing donations - they were so backed up, it would take until 3:00 a.m. to deal with the cars already in line.....and it was flooding out.
Two oil companies, both gave $1,000,000 each.
Oklahoma Thunder gave $1,000,000.
Kevin Durant and his family gave $1,000,000.
The Shoe Warehouse donated 1000 pairs of shoes to victims.
Churches are feeding both victims and the rescue workers.
Dogfood and animal crates are being donated.
Oklahoma University open their empty dorm rooms to those in need of shelter.
Students at Roosevelt Elementary in Ponca City - Instead of their field trip to the State Capital today, they voted to use the money to purchase supplies for those affected by the storms.
We made the cover of TIME.....
This was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. In the end, it may surpass the May 3rd, 1999 tornado that ripped through the same area.
Update: "The National Weather Service has upgraded the May 20th tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, to an EF-5 with wind speeds of at least 200 mph."
(That makes TWO EF-5 tornados to rip through the heart of Oklahoma....14 years apart.)
We need to quit questioning God and start praising HIM! The outcome could have been much more deadly! HIS hand was upon the town of Moore, the state of Oklahoma; How do I know? ~
"Scientists say the Moore tornado's energy was 8 times as powerful as the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima." For now, the death toll is standing at 24. Twenty-four lives lost......but considering the severity of this storm, it could have easily been 240 or 2400....
The Oklahoma House began session this morning by praying and singing Amazing Grace... Powerful.
And yes, we have caught the attention of the Westboro Church group and they have threatened to picket the funerals of those killed in the disaster.
May God have mercy on their souls.
Again, all of Oklahoma appreciates your prayers, especially during this time of healing.
P.S. Go here for free printable family emergency plans!